Caring for Your Skin
Developing healthy skin
care habits early on will serve your body well as it ages. Habits such as staying hydrated, protecting skin against UV rays, and regular cleansing and
moisturizing prepares your skin for the daily onslaught of wind, heat and cold,
and harsh chemicals and soaps.
Skin care regimens, however, must be altered depending on body parts. Caring for
the skin on your face should be different than for the skin on your feet.
Caring for your breasts will be different than for your elbows. For example,
while using an exfoliant on dry and cracked heels will make the skin smoother
and healthier, there are no such scrubs to be used on tender breast skin.
What causes Dry Skin?
External factors such as hot water, abrasive clothes, dry air (in the office or at home), direct sunlight, lack of moisture, not staying hydrated, chronic skin conditions, and age (the majority of people over age 64 have dry skin). Internal causes include hormonal changes, health issues such as diabetes or a thyroid problem, or an eating disorder.
If dryness persists or becomes painful, consult a medical professional. Untreated dry skin conditions can lead to more severe issues including infection.
How do I keep dry skin at bay?
- Hot water dries out skin faster than warm water. Limit time in a hot shower or bath. Try a gentle shower gel with moisturizer for an added benefit.
- Harsh cleansers can damage tender skin. Opt for mild, unscented soaps or go soap-free. Choose skin care products that don't include alcohol.
- After washing or showering, pat skin dry and then apply moisturizer while skin is damp to lock in moisture.
- Drink plenty of water and keep skin hydrated as well (use a daily moisturizer).
Five Tips for Healthy Skin by the Mayo Clinic
These tips from the Mayo Clinic
staff will help keep your skin healthy, younger-looking and glowing.
- Protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen (SPF15 or higher), avoid the hottest sun (from 10am-4pm), and wear protective clothing (a hat, long sleeved shirt, etc.).
- Don't smoke.
- Treat skin gently - limit bathing time, shave carefully, pat dry, and moisturize (use a moisturizer that contains SPF).
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Manage stress by setting reasonable limits, scaling back the to-do-list, and make time to do something for yourself.